UFC: Who Will Welcome Darren Till to 185?

Darren Till officially announced his intentions to move up to 185 lbs. The question now becomes who will he face and when it’ll take place considering he took a lot of damage just a month ago at UFC 228 against Tyron Woodley.

Darren Till is ready to commit to a heavier weight division according to a blog post on Paddypower.com, which he expressed would mean no longer having the size advantage on fight night. On the positive side, Till went on to bring up his speed and the comfort of not having to focus so much on his weight during training camp.

Till is entering the UFC’s middleweight division as its currently experiencing somewhat of a youth movement of late. Names like Kelvin Gastelum, Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa, Antonio Carlos Junior and the current UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker are all under the age of 30. Till will be in good company especially considering most of the aforementioned names prefer to keep their fights standing.

Till also happens to announce his middleweight plans on the eve of UFC 230, which features three key middleweight bouts on the main card. There is a chance that Till could find himself staring across from one of the six middleweight contenders scheduled to compete at Madison Square Garden. Considering that he is coming off a loss, chances are he can fight one of the losing middleweights if it falls within the UFC’s plans.

Should the UFC feel like easing Till into the 185-lb division then perhaps they have him face the loser between UFC 231’s Elias Theodorou vs. Erik Anders. Both Theodorou and Anders don’t have that much of a height or reach difference in comparison to Till. Theodorou is currently ranked 13th while Anders is looking to get in the top 15 with a win on December 8th.

UFC Fight Night: Denver is set to take place on November 10th and features fellow UK rising star Tom Breese. He made a successful middleweight debut on the night Till edged Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at Liverpool in May. Breese, 27, will be taking on veteran and former welterweight, Cezar Ferreira in an attempt to follow up on his TKO win over Dan Kelly.

Both men will undoubtedly have an advantage in size against Till, but a battle between two young UK UFC fighters sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Especially when you consider Till’s desire to return to Liverpool for an event at Anfield Stadium. What better way to sell out the 50,000+ seated arena than by having two Englishmen throw down? Then again, a scrap between a Brazilian native in “Mutante” and the English Till who adopted Brazil as his home for four developmental years doesn’t sound too shabby either.

When you think of Darren Till, the thought that comes to mind is his gift in the standup department. The same could be said about the always game, Uriah Hall. Hall and Till could create fireworks inside the octagon and with both men coming off losses two months apart, fate could bring “Primetime” and the “Gorilla” together sooner than later. Interesting to note that Hall would hold a healthy four-and-a-half inch reach advantage over the 25-year-old.

One fighter who fans have already been asking about a potential showdown against Till is none other than the “Stylebender” himself. While both men consider the bout an eventuality, it might be too soon to schedule the inevitable clash.

What better way to increase the demand for Till vs. Adesanya than by letting Till try and outperform Israel Adesanya’s July victory over Brad Tavares? Taking a page out of Kamaru Usman’s book by fighting the “Stylebender’s” sloppy seconds could do wonders for Till as he begins his climb atop the middleweight division. It wasn’t long ago that Tavares was calling for a fight against Michael Bisping. Perhaps the UFC’s answer to Bisping’s retirement will do instead.

While it might sound cool on paper to pit someone like #8 ranked Paulo Costa, who is currently without a dance partner or perhaps Yoel Romero against Till, the UFC likely learned their lesson. Tyron Woodley put on such a dominant performance against the “Gorilla” that it’s probably best they offer the young striker someone on the lower end of the rankings. It’d be interesting to see how the loss affected Till’s confidence seeing as that is a major part of who he is as a competitor.


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